Blogs from Ibarra, North, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra August 18th 2018

There are very few absolute certainties in life. "Death and taxes" is a common lament, which only serves to emphasize this point. I guess that if I were to list those things I knew, with absolute certainty, I would still be able to count them on one hand. For instance, there is only one sun/star in our solar system; socks that go missing in the washing machine are never found; and there is only one equator encircling our planet, right? Well, imagine our surprise when Fi and I learned that, at least in Ecuador, there is not just one, but at least three equators, as we've been assured, that run parallel to one another. I'll get back to that later, but first want to bring you, our faithful readership, up to date since our last check-in. ... read more
Border Crossing near Ipiales, Colombia
Border Crossing
Finca Sommerwind

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra July 20th 2015

Day 52 New mask added to Christer’s collection and Ecuador Distance driven today: 141 miles / 227 km Cumulative distance driven: 9,455 miles / 15,216 km Today’s trip: Pasto, Colombia to Ibarra, Ecuador International border crossings: 1 Today both of us slept in after the long ride yesterday. After breakfast, Zoe decided to stay at the hotel for a few hours and start writing drafts for her college applications. These are due during in the fall, and what better time to start writing the essays than during this trip. Christer took a taxi to one of the big market places in Pasto, hoping to find a good artisan mask for his ever growing collection back in Seattle. Buying a wooden mask from Pasto in Colombia has long been on the PanAmerican highway to-do list, and Christer ... read more
The border to Ecuador
Artisan masks at the central market in Pasto
Late lunch at road restaurant

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra July 19th 2014

Our Arrival We got to Ibarra from Colombia on a Quito bound bus. This bus dropped us on the side of the highway at 2:20pm. We walked up the road and took the first left by the traffic lights. This street turned out to be Rafael Troya. We walked along there until we reached Parque Boyaca and turned right up Bolivar street. Where We Stayed Hostal El Retorno - Pedro Vicente Rocafuerte and Pedro Moncayo. $12 for a double room with shared bathroom, TV and slow internet which didn't work in our 2nd floor room. Our room was right next to the bathroom. What We Did Not much - looked at all the nice buildings and churches and walked around the market. Where We Ate A set lunch of soup, meal and a drink seemed to ... read more
Ibarra train station

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra July 19th 2014

This is how we crossed the Colombian/Ecuador border from Ipiales to Ibarra. 1. Catch a collectivo to the border at Rumichaca. Collectivos leave from the Ipiales bus terminal on the left lane of the terminal. When we arrived one was nearly full so we didn't have to wait at all. It left at 9:50am and cost COP$1,500, pay the conductor on the minibus when he comes around. We drove to the border through Ipiales town going past parque Santander and the military base. We arrived at the border at 10:05am. 2. At the border the collectivo drove straight past Colombian migration and over the bridge to the Ecuadorian migration. The police then boarded the bus and checked some people's bags. We got off the bus and had to walk back over the bridge to Colombian migration ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra July 13th 2011

Last day at the clinic. Though I honestly didn’t see myself as too much of a help there, I was gladly surprised by how sorry everyone was when they found out I was leaving. It was nice departing the hospital with Dr. Cárdenas, a wonderful pediatrician with whom I spent the most time with, telling me that should I ever return to Quito I always have a friend who would be happy to see me. He also wished me the best of luck in all my future studies. Tuesday was also moving day! The family moved from the first floor of the apartment house, to the second floor, and most of the day was spent working on hauling all the items and rearranging rooms, etc. The move was great for the family, who received an extra ... read more
Vines from My Window
Maria Celeste and I
Laguna Yahuarcocha

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra June 20th 2011

A few of the other volunteers brought extra medical supplies and toys for children to donate, so today marked a work/sightseeing trip. Mariana, Lucho, four other volunteers and I set off first to Otavalo to visit Paige who was working at a day care there. We arrived a few hours later at a small village, bumping and bouncing as we drove slowly up the rocky road to the school. About 40 kids between the ages of one and five greeted us with smiling faces and muddy hands. They flocked around us as we were shown the various school rooms and art projects that littered the tables. As we went back outside to a slight drizzle they couldn´t be happier to have pictures taken of them, waving enthusiastically to the camera and jumping in the mud and ... read more
A Beautiful Girl
Me, Patricio, Brittany, Julia, and Becky

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra March 18th 2011

Hi folks! I've had a busy couple of weeks since my last blog and have managed to see a lot more of the northern highlands as well as a trip to the cloud forest in Intag which is quite possibly the most spectacular scenery I have ever scene...and I thought Scotland was green!! The weekend of 5/6th March was "carnaval" weekend in Ecuador which basically entails lots of drink, lots of music, lots of dancing and lots of kids running around throwing water and shaving foam at each other (as well as at poor, unsuspecting foreign types!) I took a trip up to the colonial town of Ibarra, a beautiful town nestled in the northern highlands at the foot of the Valle (Valley) de Chota. Ibarra and Valle de Chota are populated, in the main, by ... read more
Carnaval in Ibarra
Carnaval in Ibarra
Colnial Ibarra

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra August 8th 2010

Before heading to Pusir for the last day we stopped at an open air market in Ibarra. A few of the people went to get office supplies while Dwayne, Danny, Fernando, Paul and I went for some electrical fixtures. This stop was unlike previous stops because we had the chance to all pile out of the bus and explore for about 45 minutes. Dwayne needed some film for his camera so Fernando took us over to a nearby electronics shop. I managed to catch my first glance of the news in almost a week and I saw images of Russians running around with gas masks on and bombs falling from planes. I just figured we were missing the apocalypse but didn't really care because I was too preoccupied with being in Ecuador. Once we got the ... read more
Plaza near the market in Ibarra
Going into the market

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra August 7th 2010

After a sleepless night I saw the sun come up this morning. I was still suffering through sweats and chills so I decided to skip breakfast. I did figure out a cocktail that helps if you happen to get sick in Ecuador: 4 Advil 3 Anti-Diarrheal tablets 2 Dramamine Lots of water Take all at once and then walk around very slowly the rest of the day. I decided to go ahead and head to the village because I never really suffered from severe diarrhea or vomiting and I figured what else was I going to do? I really didn't feel like hanging out in my room all day. By the time everyone was ready to board the bus around 8:30 I was doing better and grabbed my camera bag and headed out to meet up ... read more
Climbing around while people shoot baskets
View from Behind the shool

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra August 6th 2010

Our second day in Pusir was quite eventful, to say the least. We had made our usual round in Ibarra, picking up some wood for the nursery and water for the day. About 30 minutes outside of Ibarra white smoke began billowing up from underneath the bus as we were climbing a hill on the Pan American highway. Paul pulled off to the side of the road and Fernando said it might be a good idea if we all got out while they diagnosed the problem. As we unloaded our belongings Fernando and Paul crawled under the bus. Keep in mind we are on the side of the Pan American Highway and huge semi trucks and buses are roaring past in both directions. As we are all standing along side the road a police truck pulls ... read more
Policia Assistance
Bus repairs along the Pan Am Highway

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